I’m thinking of proposing a new Olympic event: extreme housekeeping. If you think about it logically, how practical is the luge? How many people actually have the opportunity or the desire to rocket down an icy tube in a tiny open sled? And do you really need that AND bobsledding? Housekeeping could be curling on steroids, only without the illegal performance-enhancing connotations. In addition to the sweeping portion, there is dusting, toilet cleaning, and vacuuming. This sounds boring until you add the dimension of a 2 year old. Have you ever dared to bleach a counter/commode with a 2 year old nearby?
We had a typical Saturday. I like to get our chores and errands done so that we have at least one good day to play and relax. Will now is in charge of grocery shopping. Due to our strict budget, Wal Mart is the cheapest. I hate Wal Mart. I actively boycotted all stores for roughly 6 years due to wretched customer service. I’m talking “service” so appalling it should have been mentioned in the Geneva Convention. Target may be more expensive but is so much more Zen. My peace of mind was worth more than saving $.49 for a box of microwave popcorn. Now, not so much. Will also had to cut the grass or we would reclaim “biggest rednecks in the neighborhood” status. This left me with cleaning, laundry, and childcare.
Sometimes, simple maintenance cleaning isn’t enough. You just can’t get by with a quick sweep and dust. The toilets are supporting wildlife and your white countertops have so many stains that more in-depth measures are required. This was one of those weekends. I’ve gotten pretty good at sweeping and dusting with Stella around. Vacuuming is also quite possible, although she rides our old canister vac like a horse or Dr. Strangelove. There are some chores, however, that you really need another grown-up around to run interference for. Mopping is one of those chores. Will is lucky. “His” duties aren’t done in the company of a toddler. I saw some eye-rolling when I kept repeating that I needed him to watch the baby while I did X, Y, and Z. We almost had a fight. I finally prevailed, however, and there was mopping. It’s exhausting. I actually look back fondly on the days of cleaning when cleaning was easy.
As an aside, I’m officially renaming our dining room the “vomitorium1.” It is one of the few areas still gated off from the kid. That being said, it’s also a popular place amongst our cat population. Their food is also there in case general peace and quiet are not enticing enough for them. The unfortunate thing is that the cats puke in there constantly. I cannot believe how much vomit 3 cats can produce. Just yesterday – not 24 hours after I managed to get the place cleaned and mopped – the manx had a horrific gastric episode. I heard that sound that all cat-lovers fear. This time it was followed by a huge wet splash, as if someone had poured out a bucket. The cat spewed forth an impossible amount of clear liquid…..all over the power cord and power supply for the laptop2. Surely cats could be another challenging feature of extreme housekeeping.
1 No, I’m not that big of a dummy. I realize that while the Romans did have vomitoria, they were not, in fact, chambers dedicated to regurgitation. I do think, however, that it is one of those pop culture terms that everyone associates with such a thing.
2 Anyone want some cats?